I’ve been trying to tiptoe in the kitchen lately, as the kids are constantly getting under foot when I’m trying to fix a meal. Problem is: the kitchen and the dining area is truly the heart of the house. We spend most of our time together here, and it is hard to extract the kids from there when we need to get some meal-making done in a flash. That’s what happened to me yesterday morning. Grayson and I were the first ones upstairs on Saturday, and he requested pancakes for breakfast. We usually have pancakes on the weekend, but making them is Greg’s domain – mine is waffles. Since Greg was enjoying a few last minutes in bed, I thought, why not get started so the pancakes could be ready when the rest of the crew made their way to the breakfast table. I opened my trusty The Joy of Cooking and started to make the batter – with Grayson’s help of course. Through every step of the way, he let me know how Daddy did things. I was quite impressed that he knew all the steps, all the ingredients, and even that there were two bowls – one for measuring wet ingredients, the other for dry. As we started to heat the pan for the ‘cakes, Nicole came up, “I want to help.” So she dragged over here chair, the three of us standing in front of the stove, each holding a spatula, or, as Nicole calls it, the ‘flat thing.’ “When the two pancakes touch each other,” said Grayson, “Daddy uses the edge of the spatula to cut them apart.” “Oh,” I said. “Mommy and Daddy do things differently in the kitchen.” I was getting a bit annoyed. All I wanted to do was to get the pancakes made, without getting a play-by-play of the way someone else makes it – and without the constant requests for “I want to flip it.” What monsters we have created. Two little kids hankering to get into the kitchen to cook.
Kids that are learning the techniques of pancake making, and explaining those techniques to someone else. Kids who are more than willing to set the table as quickly as possible so they could eat their creations. Happy kids. I guess if that is the result of our efforts to get the kids more involved in meal making, then I’ll gladly put up with the peanut gallery comments when my technique is a bit different from Daddy’s – although I still may be gritting my teeth.